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Located in downtown Palo Alto, this historic church was sold to a developer, who asked us to convert it to office use. There were two parts to the plan – the administrative wing, which was a rabbit warren of small spaces, and the auditorium, which was dramatic but poorly scaled for an office function. We opened up the admin wing by removing most of the interior walls, and brought in natural light into the center of the plan by restoring some old clerestory windows that had been covered over in a previous courtyard enclosure. In the auditorium we inserted a second level that “floats,” holding it away from the outside walls and keeping the center open to the oculus above. This added square footage, while preserving the overall feel and character of the main gathering space. We also designed a new entry courtyard that brings the building up to ADA compliance, but in a way that looks like it was always so.

San Francisco, CA | 2011


Embarcadero Capital Partners

LD Team

Lev Bereznycky
Ryan Hughes

Project Team

W. L. Butler Construction, Inc.

Press and awards


Ryan Hughes